Sunday Press Books

Sunday Press Books is an American publisher of comic strip reprint collections founded in 2005 by Peter Maresca. The company is known as a respected reprinter of comic strips and has to date won three Eisner Awards and two Harvey Awards. In 2019 the company entered into a joint agreement of distribution and marketing with IDW Publishing.


In 2005, Peter Maresca was working in the digital entertainment industry when he, as a hobbyist comic strip collector since his 20s, felt the call to do something important for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic strip. He turned to different comic publishers which had published Little Nemo strips before to find out if any of them had something special planned to commemorate this centennial, which he then found out none of them had. He then consulted his own collection of Little Nemo strips and realized that after almost a century after being printed, the collection was becoming very fragile and was beginning to fall apart. In order to save the material for the future he tried to take his material to different publishers to put it in print in order to conserve it and make it available to readers, but none of the ones he contacted wanted to print the material in its original full publication size due to current low demand for the material and also difficulties of finding a suiting printer for the physically large material, the latter a matter which Maresca considered to be an essential aspect if he would allow his material to be put in print.
After the initial trouble of finding a publisher wanting to print his Little Nemo material, he turned to Art Spiegelman to find out if they could accomplish something practical with Maresca's Nemo material. They tried to downsize it to get it to fit a smaller format than its original size, but in the end they both agreed that the material would have to be in such a large format as it had when first published, no smaller format would do it justice. Later the same year Maresca visited the Angoulême International Comics Festival, where he talked to Fershid Bharucha of the French publishing company :fr:Éditions USA. Bharucha proposed him to take the material and convert it to digital image files and return with it to him and he would then help him to put together a book ready for printing. Once having found a suitable printer in Malaysia for the project, the project went ahead.
After the Little Nemo in Slumberland book was accomplished by Maresca, he had no further plans for Sunday Press as a publisher, his set goal had been met. He had succeeded producing a fully restored, full-size edition of the Winsor McCay classic - Litte Nemo, and was after this heading back to his regular job in digital entertainment. However, his Nemo book became a widespread success, including winning two Harvey Awards. Just a few months after its publication Maresca reconsidered his plans for Sunday Press and began thinking about what it should do next. At this time, Maresca was approached by Chris Ware, a well-known artist in the comics industry, wanting to work with Maresca on a volume of the same high standard and large format as the just-released Nemo book, but now this treatment would be applied to Gasoline Alley. Maresca accepted the offer and he and Ware put together the second Sunday Press title; Sundays with Walt and Skeezix. After this Maresca continued on his own with the publishing company's third volume, an edition of Little Sammy Sneeze, after these first three titles published he considered himself as an actual publisher and decided to keep the enterprise going.
In 2007 Sunday Press Books became a family business, when Maresca's wife Linnea Wickstrom joined the company to edit articles for the books and also managing the company. At the same time their son got also employed to take care of scanning, shipping and convention work.
Eight year after the company's launch, Maresca did in an interview in October 2013 express that even though he is very passionate about Sunday Press' work, he stated "I hope to work with other publishers on strip-related material and partner with artists and writers to bring their favorite 'commercially unviable' projects to print", since the selling and marketing tasks are a demanding task just by itself for a micropublisher like Sunday Press Books.
In July, 2019 it was announced that IDW Publishing had acquired Sunday Press Books. It was stated that Peter Maresca would be continuing to '"oversee the publishing program" of the company while IDW would manage parts such as marketing and distribution, for print as well as for digital publication. This way the publisher could focus the major work to recover comic strips which otherwise could be at risk to disappear for eternity, while IDW would manage the business aspects of the publishing company. For IDW the acquisition fits their portfolio well since their imprint The Library of American Comics and their Artist's Editions line of books already are in the same kind of archival territory. Later Maresca himself stated that the joint between Sunday Press and IDW Publishing was not an acquisition on IDW's part but a publishing agreement between the two companies. A strictly marketing and distribution agreement, with Sunday Press Books keeping its whole independency. But in the future, the partnership between the two companies would come to include some joint projects, some done by just IDW and other solely done by Sunday Press.

Publication information

Being a smaller publisher in the hardcover comic market, Sunday Press Books' print run for each title typically varies from 1,500 to 3,000 copies per printing, with the bestselling titles often going into several printings, the two Little Nemo in Slumberland books have for example had over 12,000 copies sold by October 2013. A typical volume of a Sunday Press book takes on average close to a year to produce, the material assembly process is the longest task taking in between six and nine months to finish and get ready for printing, then the binding process takes around six weeks of time due to the publications often are handbound, after this the shipping from the printer in Asia to the U.S. takes another month.


All book titles by Sunday Press are hardcover, have handsewn binding and are printed in large formats spanning from 10 × 10 inches to 16 × 21 inches. The largest format resembles and recreates the feel of an original broadsheet page size, on which comic strips where to be found in newspapers during the early 1900s.


Maresca is diligent of reproducing the old comic strips in such a way in the Sunday Press books to allow the reader to as such a close experience to the original as possible. Therefore, Maresca goes great lengths to recreate the original look and feel of the strips, printing the books with a matte paper quality, similar to newsprint look and size-wise. Maresca usually takes between five and twenty hours to fully restore a full page of comics. All color of the source material is corrected for accuracy prior to being reproduced, a process necessary due to the old newspaper medium which the strips originally were printed on, do fade and deteriorate with time. Maresca himself describes his reproduced look as "a hybrid between a brand new newsprint and a comic strip that looks kind of faded.". Some of the source material for the publisher's reprint books comes from Maresca's own collections, others are often sourced from other comic strip collectors.


Many of Sunday Press' published titles have been well received in the comic culture, titles have been featured and reviewed in newspapers and periodicals such as The Atlantic, The Comics Journal, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Print and The Wall Street Journal. They have also received recognition such as nominations and prices for both the Eisner Award and Harvey Award.

Eisner Awards


Award winners


Release dateTitleCreatorPeriodContentBonus itemFormatPage countISBN
2005-10-02Little Nemo in Slumberland:
So Many Splendid Sundays!
Winsor McCay1905-1910Little Nemo in Slumberland selected Sunday pages from 1905-1910none16×21 inches128
2007-10-08Sundays with Walt & SkeezixFrank King1918-1932Selection of Sunday pages from Gasoline Alley 1918-1932Original art facsimile poster16×21 inches96
2007-11-01Little Sammy SneezeWinsor McCay1904-1906The complete Little Sammy Sneeze in color
The complete Hungry Henrietta
The Woozlebeasts 1904 comic
The Upside-Downs 1904 comic
Limited Sammy Sneeze Tissue Box Cover freebie16×18 inches96
2008-07-24Little Nemo in Slumberland:
Many More Splendid Sundays!
Winsor McCay1906-1914
Little Nemo in Slumberland selected pages from 1906-1914 and 1924-1927Gertie the Dinosaur flip book16×21 inches128
2009-06-22Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of OzL. Frank Baum
Walt McDougall
W.W. Denslow
1904-1905?The complete Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz Sunday series
the complete Scarecrow and the Tinman
additional full-size comics by the creators
Set of Visitors collector cards16×18 inches72
2009-09-15The Upside-Down World of Gustave VerbeekGustave Verbeek1903-1915The complete The Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo
the complete Loony Lyrics of Lulu
selected Sundays of Adventures of the Tiny Tads
additional comics and illustrations from Verbeek's 40-year career
12-piece set of Tiny Tads postcards 11×16 inches120
2010-05-18Krazy Kat:
A Celebration of Sundays
George Herriman1916-1944Selected Krazy Kat Sunday pages from 1916-1944
samples from Sunday pages of
Professor Otto, The Two Jackies, Major Ozone + more, these from 1901-1906
Sunday Press Bricks postcards, featuring 10 characters getting "bricked"14×17 inches160
2011-08-01Forgotten Fantasy:
Sunday Comics 1900-1915
various1900-1915Over 150 various fantasy comic strips from 1900-1915
included among others are:
the complete Wee Willie Winkie's World and the complete The Kin-der-Kids by Lyonel Feininger
the complete The Explorigator by Henry Grant Dart
the complete Naughty Pete by Charles Forbell
the complete Nibsby the Newsboy by George McManus
the complete Dream of the Rarebit Fiend by Winsor McCay
selections from Jungle Imps and other titles from 1900-1915
none16×21 inches156
2013-10-24Society Is Nix:
Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip
various1895-1915150 Sunday page comic strips from 1895-1915 by various creatorsnone16×21 inches156
2016-01-08White Boy in Skull ValleyGarrett Price1933-193?The complete White Boy / Skull Valley Sunday comic stripsnone11×16 inches168
2016-10-24Dick Tracy:
Colorful Cases of the 1930s
Chester Gould1931-1939Selection of Dick Tracy Sunday comic strips from 1931 to 1939
four complete stories plus 40 selected Sunday pages
4-page replica of the original 1931 sell sheet for Dick Tracy from the Tribune Syndicate
Dick Tracy poster page
11×15 inches168
2017-06-01Foolish Questions & Other Odd Observations:
Rube Goldberg, early comics 1909-1919
Rube Goldberg1909-1919The complete Sunday comic strip Foolish Questions from 1909-1910
selected strips of the daily equivalent of the Foolish Questions strip series from 1910-1919
Facsimile set of 4 Foolish Questions postcards from 191310×10 inches96
2017-12-18Crazy Quilt by Frank King:
Scraps and Panels on the Way to Gasoline Alley, Comics from 1909-1919
Frank King1909-1919The complete Crazy Quilt
Samplings from each of Frank King's different early Sunday and daily comic strips, including; Bobby Make-Believe
editorial cartoon pieces
Facsimile of the Motorcycle Mike action toy from 191413×17 inches100
2018-11-01Thimble Theatre:
And the pre-Popeye comics of E.C. Segar
E.C. Segar1916-1930125 pre-Popeye Thimble Theatre Sunday pages
including the complete "Western desert" saga
Samples of E.C. Segar's early comics and illustrations
none13×17 inches144
2020-04-07Ed Leffingwell's Little Joe:
The Sunday Comics by Harold Gray
Harold Gray1937-1942Selection of Little Joe Sunday strips by Harold Gray from 1937 to 1942none13×9 inches144
2020-09-01Gross Exaggerations:
The Meshuga Comic Strips of Milt Gross
Milt GrossTBAThe comic strips: Nize Baby, Count Screwloose and Dave's Delicatessen
+ other comic strips + material from books and magazines


Sunday Press Books has except from their main line of reprint books also produced some comic related calendars with comic art of the same kind as featured in their books.